Breastfeeding - reflections and resources

It's World Breastfeeding Week Aug.1-7 and seeing all the posts and articles on my facebook newsfeed has me reflecting on my experience with breastfeeding.  She and I struggled together with getting her to open her mouth and latch properly.  But despite the painful nipples, blocked ducts, mastitis, crazy pumping schedule and some tears...we perservered.  We eventually made it to exclusively breastfeeding and she is now 13 months old and is still a "nummie" girl.

I feel truly blessed for the support I receieved in our community because in our case, the saying "it takes a village to raise a child" was certainly true. 

With much gratitude, here are the things that I found helpful:

  • Dr.Jack Newman website - In the final weeks before my delivery, I started reading the info sheets and watching the demo videos on this site and highly recommend this as a resource. 
  • My midwives and my public health nurse  - The level of expertise and support I received from these three women was exceptional.  I found my struggle with breastfeeding to be quite emotional and they offered such compassionate, non-judgemental care.  I felt so very taken care of.
  • Acupuncture - I had such bad luck with repeated blocked ducts!. Aside from interferring with breastfeeding, they are extremely painful and I was so grateful for being able to insert needles as needed to help releive the inflammation and blockage.  I've seen it work remarkably well over the years with patients and now know first hand what a fabulous support it can be for blocked ducts (works like a charm in the early stages of mastitis too - click here for a listing of other symptoms that can be helped as well). 
  • My mom - Last, but certainly not least, I have to say thank you to my mom.  She was there every day for the first many weeks of my daughter's life and without her hands-on support with anything and everything, I don't know that I would have made it through to successful breastfeeding.  If your mom can't be with you, absolutely draw on the support of the women in your community.  It's crazy that many women are by themselves in their homes with their babies postpartum...we're not meant to do this alone.  A postpartum doula is a wonderful option as well.

What was your experience with breasfteeding?  If you feel to share, add to the list of tips and resources I've started so that we can all learn and be supported by each other.  Or you might consider entering the "blog about breastfeeding" event being hosted by Mothering - they are offering up some great prizes.  I believe it is important and empowering to be open about breastfeeding, both it's challenges and it's joys.



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